Soaked! Nothing could be more disappointing than crawling into bed and laying in an icy wet spot. I jump out and pull the heavy brown quilt down to discover the cause of the wetness. I don’t drink in my bed, it can’t be anything I’ve spilled on the bed. I haven’t wet the bed, I hope it’s not from an animal that came inside the cabin to escape the snow. Snow. Of course it’s snow, I look up and can see a fine flutter of snow falling from a hole in the ceiling. I sigh, what I viewed as quaint charm in the summer has become a dilapidated hell hole. I turn the tap on the sink on to put on the stove for tea. The water is just like the temperature outside, freezing cold. I think about making a list of complaints to the frail man who rented this cabin to me. I have about seven repairs in mind before my water begins to boil and fill the cabin with a dense cloud of steam. The temperature inside must be colder than I thought. Thank God my robe is still relatively dry. I sit down in the easy chair and try to warm myself up with hot chamomile. It burns my tongue but I reserve my complaints because there is no one else here to vent them too. I decide that old man Johnson shouldn’t be bothered with the flaws of this cabin. After all, his wife had recently passed away and it is Christmas Eve. This makes the first Christmas Eve I’ve been completely secluded from anyone, my family, my close friends, distant friends, and there is certainly no boyfriend to mention. My only concern for the next three months is to crank out my first full length novel. The short stories and infrequent magazine features have just barely kept me from having to find a real job. I’m eking out a living with the hopes my novel will get me noticed for a big payday. My tea is already getting cold so I judge it must be time to load the fireplace with more dead wood. The bin is about half empty, I make a mental note to do something about that. I drift to a cozy state where I think I could fall asleep in this big chair. Eventually I’m going to have to do something about the hole in the roof, or move the bed. The wild animals are even quiet tonight because of the blizzard. I cringe when the bursa escort quiet is broken by the sound of an obnoxious motor. It’s not a car, this cabin is on the end of a dead end path. The noise grows louder and louder until I’m clenching my teeth. I wonder what sort of person or people would be riding around on an irritating snow mobile. There’s a blizzard outside and it’s past 9 pm on Christmas Eve. I get up and double check the lock on the door and peer out the tiny window beside the kitchen sink. My heart starts to thump because the noise just stopped somewhere outside my door. I see a big dark jacket walking down the path towards my door. I let out a huge sigh of relief that he’s not carrying an ax or gun of any kind. I recognize him as Spencer, the somewhat well off man I’ve bumped into in the village’s only bakery. I wonder why on Earth he’s here, I’m sure he has somewhere better to be on Christmas Eve. I lunge to undo the locks just before he knocks. The metal latch is so cold it hurts my fingers to make it budge. I undo the ancient deadbolt while I worry about him freezing to death before I can unlock the door. I hear him moving around to check in the window when I finally pull the door open. “Hi? Sorry, the locks were stuck,” I gaze outside, feeling a sharp sting of wind blown snow hit my face. “Oh you’re really here? I’m sorry to show up out of the blue, I was asked to check up on you.” “Come inside so I can shut the door! It’s freezing out here!” I shout at him, I hear my voice being carried away by the swirling wind. I get Spencer inside in one piece and with his help we get the door shut and bolted. The wind seems like it just got worse in an instant. “It’s not much better in here. It’s a shame that Henry let this place go so much. It’s been in his family for generations. I’m surprised you’re not in the hotel.” I feel defensive about my cabin, mainly because I can’t leave here until my novel is finished. I don’t expect Mr. Investment Man or whatever he is would understand. “I didn’t really notice it was cold in here, I find the fire really warms up most of the cabin.” “I hope you don’t mind if I warm bursa escort bayan up for a little bit. It is a nice place, it hasn’t changed much since I was a kid.” “Of course, I still don’t understand why you came all the way out here tonight. Don’t you live in one of those big mansions on the other side of the lake?” I lie, I do mind a little that he’s invading my space. Any minute I’m not thinking about my novel is a minute I’m wasting here. I see his blue eyes briefly reflecting the fire as he gives me a curious look. He senses my unease with the whole situation. “I figured you had a good enough head to take care of yourself, but Ruth from the bakery was worried this cabin wasn’t sturdy enough for another blizzard.” I see his white teeth when he turns to grin at me. “I should have known she had something to do with this. That woman seems to like gossip.” “It’s a small town, everyone gossips here.” “I can’t believe you let her send you out here in this weather to check up on me. I’m fine here, I honestly came here to find solitude.” “I can see that, you’re doing alright for someone on her own here. I’m just going to warm up a few more minutes and I’ll be out of your way. Besides the storm is supposed to get worse tonight. We’ll easily get over a foot of snow when it’s all over.” Now I feel guilty for being icy. It’s been ages since I’ve entertained company before. I watch him putting his thick gloves back on. The wind rattles the windows and makes the single light in the cabin flicker. I’m almost scared to imagine being here alone if this cabin fell apart or the power went out. “Wait, it’s Christmas Eve isn’t it? I’m sorry I’m not a better hostess, I’m not used to having company over. I think I have some hot chocolate I was saving.” “It is, I suppose I have a little time before it’s going to be too bad out there.” “Great, let me get the water on, it takes a little while to heat it up.” “Are you sure it isn’t any trouble? I’m sure you have a lot of writing to catch up on,” he grins. “How did you know I was writing?” “Small town gossip, remember?” “Oh, right. I did come here because it was a quiet place where I could escort bursa focus on writing my first real book.” “You came to the right place, I wish this cabin was just a little more fixed up. It’s been standing for 80 years, I’m sure it’s going to make it through another winter.” I wonder whether that’s supposed to be a vague threat. He seems to carry sincere concern for my well being. I’m just not very good at accepting it from a near stranger after a few months on my own. I’ve learned how to numb myself and develop a hard exterior. I know it’s not really fair to someone who made a dangerous trip out here just to pay me a concerned visit. “Sorry I don’t have much furniture, you can sit in the easy chair. I’ll bring the desk chair out.” “Thanks, anything beats sitting on old Ranger.” “Ranger?” “That’s my sled. I wanted to give him a name for good luck.” “Don’t you usually name things like that after women?” “Yes, usually. I sort of fell in love with the name because of a story I once read.” It makes me pause, something sounds so familiar about the name of his sled. I stir the hot chocolate in the water until it makes a rich brown color. I take the cups over to the fire, seeing that Spencer has taken his jacket off and has pulled the chairs closer to the fire. My cheeks burn red when he smiles at me. His black sweater is just tight enough to reveal his fit body frame. I hand him his hot chocolate, feeling a shock when our fingers touch so briefly. “Merry Christmas, I’m sorry I don’t have any marshmallows here, or much else right now. I usually do my shopping on Sundays.” “Thank you, this is perfect right now. It seems like I’m having a hard time warming up in here. Are you sure you’re alright here?” “I’m fine. I have everything I need. I hope you keep that chair warm because I might be sleeping in there tonight.” “That doesn’t seem like something I’d want to do after sitting at a desk all day.” “Me neither, but there’s a hole in the roof. The snow has been falling on the bed all day. It’s soaked.” He looks towards the bed in shock, almost as if he didn’t believe me. We both gaze up to see the wind blowing a few sparse flakes onto the bed. Spencer shakes his head, he seems more worried about it than I am. It’s like problems of this nature won’t bother me as long as they don’t interfere with my work. “It’s not going to be easy to fix that. I might be able to patch it up for the night with something.